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Uber Piloting Phone Number For Older Adults In Arizona

Uber is piloting a new toll-free number that will let people who don’t have a smartphone book a ride.

The goal is to make the ride-sharing app more user-friendly, specifically among older adults who might not have a smartphone.

Malcom Glennwith with Uber says the company started testing the app in Arizona last week.

"It’s still very, very early so we’re still gathering feedback," he said. "But we feel optimistic about the initial response and how it’s gone thus far. Over time, I suspect, as we gather insights and learn a little bit more about how it’s working, what’s working and what’s not working, we’ll plan to expand it to other parts of the country."

Glenn says Uber decided to test the phone number here because of the number of older people who live in Arizona. While users don’t need a smart phone, they do need a cell phone with the ability to receive text messages.

The number is 1-833-USE-UBER.

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KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.